The policy and practice of the Church of God with General Office in Anderson, Indiana is that congregations generally hold title to their own properties. The Church of God, however, is more than an aggregation of location congregations; it is also a fellowship of believers with necessary organizations and agencies for administering local, state, and general church programs to promote and protect ministry. Thus we are interdependent upon one another.
A congregation, along with its governing body, must be concerned that the title to its property is in good order and that the property remains in the use of the Church of God for the purpose originally intended. Most congregations purchase or have purchased property through the generous donations of persons within the local congregation for use as a local Church of God. Sometimes these properties were acquired with the assistance of area, state, regional or national bodies of the Church of God. The donors were asked to donate and did so for the express intent and discerned vision for the ministry of the local Church of God congregation. This raises the issue of whose property it is when there is a question within the local congregation. Thus, there are some concerns about safeguarding the title to the property and its improvements to comply with the donor's intent.
It is often assumed that since a congregation exists today, in its current form, it will forever exist in that form. However, time changes all things, even local church bodies. With change comes the possibility of loss; wise church leaders seek to prevent this from happening. Consider the follow loss possibilities for a local congregation:
- An imperfect or faulty title(s);
- Inadequate organization of the local church for business purposes;
- "Hostile takeover" from an outside person or group;
- Disintegration of the local church and the power to act legally is stymied; and,
- And individual of the congregation seeks to profit personally from the property.
Fortunately, the safety deeding process provides a high level of security that the properties donated and used by the Church of God congregation can remain in the Church of God family should any of the reasons for potential loss (noted above) come into play. The linked video below proves additional insights into the value and virtues of a Safety Deed Program.
(Note: if your congregation currently has a deed with words like Board of Church Extension or Anderson on it, then contact the church office today. These deeds may likely need repair.)